Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blaschka's Glass

went to Harvard's Museum of Natural History last week to see Blaschka's glass flowers. these works appeal to me on so many levels - the fusion of science and art for one, and also that they come from the very fascinating period in history when the entire natural world was catalogued in a massive effort by scientists, adventurers, and amateurs worldwide.

also saw the temporary exhibit of invertebrate sea creatures - comissioned before the flowers in response to the problem that these ephemeral creatures (jellyfish, octupi, squid, anemone, sea slugs, etc) were not easily preservable for study in the classroom. have you ever seen a pickled sea creature? not so pretty - a slump of whitish material on the bottom of a glass jar.

After the flowers, Rudolfo Balschka (the son, in his seventies by this point), finished his career making models of rotting and blighted fruits as well as fungi, ferns and mosses. right up my alley - yum. unfortunately, i am having difficulty tracking down this collection - where is it housed now?
apparently, only one other glass collection of fungi exists. (see above)

the whole experience was deliciously inspiring - i especially loved the close ups of the flower organs, for example cross sections of the ovaries. i did not take my camera, because in my mind taking pictures in a museum is highly taboo, so i have no photo evidence.

therefore i bought this book: ---------------->>
i'm taking it to italy and have decided to take my oil paints that i was initially planning to leave home. i've been sitting on this project since spring; i can't put it off any longer. it's itching to get out of me.

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